Communicating About Stress

stressed child gets a hug

Did you know that children get stressed too? When a child enters a situation they may not be familiar with, it may cause them anxiety. The best way to curb a child’s stress is to find out what causes it and talking them through it. Often, understanding their stress is the best way for them to resolve it on their own.

Communicating with children about stress is the best way to discover the causes of it. When you listen carefully to your child, talk with them, you can figure out what bothers and upsets your children. When you are proactive about finding this out, you can help prevent your child’s stress.

Remember to pick the moment to talk to your child about stress. After all, it can be a tough topic to discuss. Find a quiet, calm part of the day to bring up stress and listen to your child’s concerns or worries. The best times to talk to your children about their stress is while you are doing an everyday activity together like driving to school, cooking dinner, or playing a game. It’s best to talk about these things when you’re not feeling rushed.

As an adult, you are more experienced with stress, so it’s up to you to set the tone. Ask your children questions to learn more about their feelings and then give them your full attention. Encourage them to continue by nodding, listening, and validating their concerns.

Even if your child is reluctant to share with you, by paying attention to your child’s body language you can discover if they are feeling stressed about something. Notice if your child is relaxed, smiling, and happy or if they are tense. If you notice that their jaw is clenched, their eyes dart when you try to make eye contact, or if their shoulders are stiff. Do certain activities or times of the day cause your child to tense up? If you notice a pattern in their behaviour – address it!

The most important thing is to listen. Show that you care by listening, giving nonverbal encouragement. Give your child adequate time to express their thoughts. Don’t finish their sentences. Instead, give them time to put their thoughts into their own words. Learning to vocalize what bothers them is an important skill for children to learn.

At Childventures, we write you detailed reports about your child’s day. If we notice a certain activity causes them anxiety, we’ll be sure to let you know so you never have to worry that your children’s needs aren’t being met.

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